Tool Time
Bev Vines-Haines

Peter Ethridge is determined to destroy my career. Such as it is. More like mind numbing servitude with complimentary wages. Though I shouldn't whine. Most jobs are like that these days. 

I work in Life Frames, our environment patterned after a Windows screen from the early 21st century. Back when cursers had to be manipulated from one function to the next. Wonder what those yo-yos thought brains were for, if not to 'think' things into being. 

I monitor 'realities‚' as they pass in front of me. Virtual vacations, promotions, weddings and births, all custom ordered by couch potatoes too lazy to imagine their own lives. I possess vivid imagery skills and could design the lives of kings and princes, if not for Peter Ethridge.

He is stuck in the past. Worships human tradition: two genders, four appendages and only eight to ten colors. I'm more creative and once put together an orgasmic tryst that made the evening news. Shortly after, Peter got me moved to a minimal function line where geezers lust after history book fantasies. Malt shops, slow motion love scenes, Sandra Dee and Frankie Somebody, all doing the nasty and making babies the prehistoric way. As if a kid like that would have a chance. So I sit and project itsy-bitsy-teeny-weenie-yellow-polka-dot-bikinis into scenarios that are about as creative as cottage cheese. And I watch Ethridge morph back and forth between the galactic feed line and the instant degree point, paying zero attention to me over here in Fogieville. 

And that's when I got my idea. As long as Peter controls My Profile, I am screwed. If he can't envision sexual encounters with seven-breasted females who possess delicious privates no matter which direction you spin them, by god no one can. I watch him strut around his domain. Can't seem to pass Ms. Checker in Uranus Tours without stopping to give her the eye. Thing is, Ms. Checker's cubicle is less than three feet from the main delete feature.

I put the Fogieville fantasies on auto-pilot, hit Repeat on "Elvis" and "poodle skirt" functions (in order to ensure satisfaction), and beam everything I have at that delete key. Finally Ethridge ambles past Ms. Checker, turns and pauses. That's all she wrote. He blipped right off the screen and out of my life. Two seconds later I thought my way into the main command file and pushed the Empty Recycle option. "ARE YOU SURE YOU WISH TO DELETE?" Oh yeah, I'm sure. 

I can see him now, flailing around a dead file repository in the outer reaches, no Tool Bar and no working thought mouse. Hope to hell he realizes it was me.

First published: August, 2004
comments to the writer: Knob'